Tec 40 with Utila Dive Centre

I finally decided to travel to Utila, Honduras to dive with the Utila Dive Centre.

Over the past few years, Andy Philips has become a good friend of mine. But it wasn’t until December 2012 that I decided it would be a good idea to do more deep dives so that I could feel more comfortable  and prepared while diving at depths of 120 and 130 feet.
After some in-depth discussions with Andy, we decided that the PADI Tec 40 course would be a good one for me to take. During the course, divers are trained to handle problems at depth along with many other underwater skills.

Getting There:

I feared getting to Utila was going to be a pain, but I was wrong. I flew from LAX in Los Angeles and landed in Roatan. There, Captain Angelo, who runs Island Air, met me at the baggage claim with one of his assistants. They helped me with my bags and the departure tax formalities and lead me through security. The Island Air plane is quite small but it’s a much speedier option than taking the ferry and bus to Utila. From Roatan, it’s a quick ten-minute flight to Utila! When we landed, Utila Dive Centre had a van waiting for me and another diver. Our gear was loaded into the van and we were driven to the Mango Inn.

Getting to Utila by Plane:

Island Air: One-way tickets from Roatan to Utila cost $125
Below is a picture of the plane:
islanderafterstorm.jpg.w560h359

Where to Stay:

I stayed at the Mango Inn, which is where most UDC divers stay. There are several options in the area for hotels and long-term housing; just ask around for information. I stayed in a private room, which was a decent size and very comfortable. There was hot water and free wifi in the restaurant/pool area. I met some divers who were staying in the dorms, which only cost $10 USD per night – a good option if you’re on a budget. Private rooms start from $60 USD per night.
My Room
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Utila Dive Centre

I have been to quite a few dive centers, and Utila Dive Centre is a great facility. You can get any type of training here that you’d want, and the instructors are just fabulous.
Utila Dive Centre
Utila Dive Centre
My instructor for the Tec PADI course was Mary Peters, assisted by G. Mary did a wonderful job of training us. During this course, we switched from regular recreational gear to Tec gear. The biggest different was that we focused more on redundancy. We had two BCDs, two inflator hoses, two regulators, two doubles on our backs, one stage tank, two masks and two computers. Basically, we had a back up of every piece of gear, with the exception of our fins.

1st Day of Training for PADI Tec 40

  • Knowledge Review Chapter One PADI Deep Diving
  • Equipment set-up

2nd Day of Training

  • Confined water training
  • Fine-tuning equipment set up
  • Fine-tuning weighting
  • Tec 40 Skills training
  • Buddy checks
  • S drills
  • Shut down drills
  • Buoyancy/ getting used to new equipment
  • Knowledge Review Chapter Two & Three
  • Dive planning

3rd Day of Training

  • Two 60ft Dives
  • Practice buddy checks
  • Practice shut down drills
  • Practice staging deco cylinders
  • Final exam
  • Dive planning for actual deco dive

4th Day of Training

  • One 120ft Deco Dive

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